Fort George G. Meade, MD –
When it comes to conducting large-scale combat operations and putting boots on the ground, the United States Army reigns supreme. These operations depend on modern information networks and secure communications just as much as they depend on sound strategy and cutting edge weapons platforms.
Combat operations occur across multiple domains and the Department of Defense (DOD) recognizes cyberspace and the information space as a domain of warfare equivalent to land, air, sea, and space. Operations in the cyber domain span DOD’s huge, highly complex and interdependent network of technology, data (including the internet), telecommunications networks, computer systems, and embedded processors and controllers.
Activated in 2010 and headquartered at Fort Gordon, Georgia, U.S. Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) forms the Army component of U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and is responsible for four primary tasks:
- Build, operate and maintain Army computer and information networks
- Defend Army and friendly networks, data and weapons systems
- Conduct influence operations
- Execute cyber and electronic warfare attacks on adversarial nations and groups
ARCYBER is home to more than 16,500 Soldiers, federal civilian employees and contractors and is comprised of its headquarters staff and four Army Cyber units – the 1st Information Operations (IO) Command; the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command; the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber); and the Army Cyber Protection Brigade. In addition, ARCYBER contributes 42 teams to U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber Mission Force with more teams on the way.
Build, Operate and Maintain Army Networks
Large-scale land operations require extensive planning and robust infrastructure to achieve success, and this extends to cyberspace. ARCYBER is responsible for building and maintaining the physical information network infrastructure that Army forces use to communicate on the battlefield, such as servers and routers, and their interaction with joint and combined forces.
Defend Army Networks, Data, and Weapons Systems
Once networks are established, ARCYBER is responsible for their security and defense against adversary cyberattacks and electromagnetic interference. U.S. forces can expect adversary nations and groups to conduct malicious activities in the information dimension designed to sow confusion and disrupt Army and joint and allied forces’ abilities to send and receive orders, coordinate maneuvers, and target adversaries. It is ARCYBER’s job to ensure these capabilities and their underlying networks remain clear, trusted and secure.
Conduct Influence Operations
Sun Tzu wrote that all warfare is based on deception. Creating the conditions for success in any military operations depends in part on influencing or disrupting the adversary’s decision-making processes. When successful, influence operations can force adversaries into making mistakes that yield battlefield advantages to U.S. and friendly forces. ARCYBER’s 1st IO Command is the Army’s only information operations organization, and lends its expertise to Army, joint and friendly forces with its mission-tailored teams.
Execute Cyber and Electronic Warfare
Cyber and Electronic Warfare capabilities are important tools in the Army’s arsenal and ARCYBER uses them with decisive effect. Successful cyber and electronic warfare attacks can limit the adversary’s options, disrupt their ability to communicate with one another, cause confusion, and reduce their ability to target friendly positions.
ARCYBER is a vital component of USCYBERCOM and its offensive and defensive capabilities are critical to creating an information advantage and decision making environment that ensures the protection of U.S. Army, joint and friendly warfighting assets while imposing costs on hostile or adversary nation-states, groups and other malicious actors.